Monday, September 3, 2012

Sanding the Clearcoat / Interior Split Window Pictures

My brother Jim asked if I had wet sanded the clear coat yet.  I had not and I thought it would be a good topic for the blog.  Wet sanding, cutting, is very time consuming, tedious, and as Jim Q points out, it's easy to sand through an edge and ruin a good paint job.

I picked a spot the hood as a representative sample of what the rest of the car is like.  As you can see it's shiny but there are dust nibs and other imperfections.  The actual amount may surprise you. 

A quick 10 second pass with the orbital sander tells all.  Lots of dust and lots of orange peal.  I am using 1000 grit finishing film.  It's used dry, not wet.

After a couple minutes of additional sanding you can see the orange peal is starting to flatten out and go away.  The dust nibs are also starting to shrink but they're persistent.

Another 3 to 5 minutes of sanding and it's easy to see that the orange peal is mostly gone.  The dust nibs remain so I need to keep sanding.

This is much better.  It's mostly flat with few exceptions.  The question is, have I sanded through the clearcoat?  That's a good question and one that I check on frequently. 

Every few passes I take a clean cloth and wipe off the dust looking for signs of color.  As you can see the cloth is clean showing no signs of blue.  I am still in the clearcoat.
This part of the hood is now complete and I can move on to another section.  It's very labor intensive and it will take a long time to do the whole car.  Wish me luck.

A new follower to the blog, Steve L, asked for pictures of the inside of the split window.  He's trying to put the split back into his 63 and needs reference pictures.  Cutting out the split window was a common modification in 1963.  In fact, here's a 1963 article from Custom Corvettes magazine on how to make the change.  It was a neat customization until the 64 Corvettes came out with a 1 piece rear window.  This is why Steve wants the split window back.  The 1963 split window couple is a one year only design and it's very sought after.  Good luck Steve.

The brown color is old glue used to hold up a piece of vinyl between the two windows.

Yes, I finished sanding the car.  I was going to start buffing the paint but I had a couple blemishes that took a considerable amount of sanding.  The clearcoat would be thin in those areas.  I decided I would add a few more coats of clear so I'll be spraying the car again.  That will be the next post.

Thanks for watching.


  1. Patience and perfection! Glad you didn't try to rush the paint job for the big show.

  2. Thank You John.....the pics really help....Steve L